A CLOSER LOOK: hospital ICU beds at a premium due to Delta variant

A Closer Look

Temporary pandemic hospital in warehouse. Getty Images.

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Every year the American Hospital Association (AHA) surveys U.S. hospitals — it includes bed occupancy and now COVID-19 bed occupancy projection, due to the pandemic. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) has been working with the agency to make sure beds are available during this COVID-19 surge.

U.S. HOSPITALS 2021 FAST FACTS (FY 2019 survey)

  • Number of U.S. Community 1 Hospitals: 5,141
  • Number of Nongovernment Not-for-Profit Community Hospitals: 2,946
  • Number of Investor-Owned (For-Profit) Community Hospitals: 1,233
  • Number of State and Local Government Community Hospitals: 962
  • Number of Federal Government Hospitals: 208
  • Number of Nonfederal Psychiatric Hospitals: 625
  • Other 2 Hospitals: 116
  • Total number of all U.S. Hospitals: 6,090

Total Admissions in All U.S. Hospitals: 36,241,815 | Total Admissions Community Hospitals: 34,078,100

AHA COVID-19 Bed Occupancy Projection Tool

AR: 8/10/2021
Bed type: All Hospital Beds (includes Adult ICU)
Available Beds: 10,826
Percent of Beds Occupied by Non-COVID Patients: 60%
Beds Available for COVID Patients*: 4,330
Beds Occupied by Non-COVID Patients*: 6,496
Estimated Beds Occupied by COVID Patients**: 1,293
Total Beds Occupied: 7,788. Percent of Available Beds Occupied: 72%

AR: 8/10/2021
Bed type: Adult ICU Beds
Available Beds: 1,074
Percent of Beds Occupied by Non-COVID Patients: 60%
Beds Available for COVID Patients*: 430
Beds Occupied by Non-COVID Patients*: 644
Estimated Beds Occupied by COVID Patients**: 498
Total Beds Occupied: 1,142. Percent of Available Beds Occupied: 106%
*Assumes 60% of Adult ICU Beds are occupied by non-COVID patients.
**Projected using UW-IHME Models

In Arkansas, a population of 2,990,671, has a poverty rate of 17% and 8% are uninsured, according to AHA data. There are 11,149 total hospital beds (ADH reports 11,438 beds).

Missouri, with a population of 6,090,062, has a poverty rate of 14% and 9% are uninsured. There are 21,575 total hospital beds, according to AHA data.

Arkansas has a higher percentage of residents at the poverty level compared to Missouri, even though Missouri has twice the population than the Natural State.

Medicaid beneficiaries and their vaccination rates are very low,” said Hutchinson on Tuesday, August 10, during his televised COVID-19 briefing. There are 627,000 Arkansans on traditional Medicaid and 27,000 12-and-up have been vaccinated. “That’s 4.3% [who] are vaccinated, that’s extremely low. A very vulnerable population. It’s a challenge for us,” he said.

Due to the surge in pediatric hospital admissions, the governor announced that additional beds are opening for COVID-19 patients. “We are first working with the Hospital Association to free up additional space, they are monitoring the acceptance of health care needs. We had a FEMA team evaluate hospitals for suggestions on how to get ahead of the curve on ICU beds,” said Hutchinson. He reiterated, “we have got to work to reduce the cases and exposure to COVID-19 and look ahead.”

Arkansas now has 1.1 million who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to ADH and the governor. This represents 43.2% of the state’s population of 12 and older who are fully immunized.

Hospital Association Region, source ADH

NORTHWEST: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 1,207
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 1,627
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 212
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 83
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 48

NORTH CENTRAL: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 580
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 878
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 130
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 31
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 21

NORTHEAST: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 1,003
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 1,487
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 183
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 49
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 24

ARKANSAS VALLEY: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 1,175
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 1,388
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 160
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 45
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 29

METRO: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 3,303
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 4,368
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 438
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 197
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 107

SOUTHWEST: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 1,116
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 1,072
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 253
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 88
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 63

SOUTHEAST: Total Staff Bed Capacity: 450
Max Flex Bed Capacity: 574
COVID-19 Positive Admissions: 70
COVID-19 Positive Admissions in ICU: 22
COVID-19 Positive Admissions on Ventilators: 4

Source: Arkansas Hospitals, Summer 2021 data.

Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas

Yesterday, President Biden spoke with Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas to discuss the increasing COVID-19 case rates in the State and what more the federal government can do to offer support.

Last month, the Administration announced COVID-19 Surge Response resources, including increased testing, treatment and vaccination support, and the Surge Response teams are working hand in hand with state officials to help get the virus under control.

The President commended Governor Hutchinson on his efforts to get more Arkansans vaccinated, including through his Community COVID Conversations, and noted the increasing rate of vaccinations in Arkansas. Governor Hutchinson thanked the President for his support and the two leaders committed to continue to work together to protect the health and well-being of all Arkansans.

White House

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